Martin Parr’s Return to Manchester exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery includes pictures from a range of his past projects; from Prestwich Mental Hospital in the 1970s, a study of Yate’s wine bars through the decades, Shopping and Spending Money in Salford, to a snapshot of Manchester life in 2018.
They are incredibly powerful, as he captures real insight into everyday life and human behaviour, which is particularly relevant to what we do.
Our Senior Strategist Clare went along to the preview evening on Thursday evening.
Check out these 5 things she learned.
1. Point of Sale.
There’s a fascinating section of the exhibition called 'Point of Sale'; a visual low-down on supermarket shopping through the years.
What has without a doubt stayed the same through each decade is great branding, fun copy and beautiful packaging will forever delight people whilst shopping for groceries, encouraging them to pay more for a brand over own label.
2. Hairdressers and barbers as the hub of our communities.
Hairdressers and barbers play an integral role as the enduring hub for our communities.
Online retailers may eventually make supermarkets, department stores and corner shops obsolete, but the human need a hairdresser or barber serves can never truly be achieved digitally.
Elevating their role beyond personal grooming to the sole reason we’ll have to keep talking to strangers is a fascinating realisation.
3. Pace of change is slow.
Pace of change in lots of ways has been slow. Not much has fundamentally changed our everyday lives in the last 40 years.
Ultimately, we just want to like people, be liked by others and hang out with like-minded people.
4.We're not so different after all.
The industry and media like to tell us we’re all so very different to previous and future generations, with our personalities defined by the era we were born in.
When actually as humans beings, our nature, needs and desires rarely change, just our environment and the technology we use.
5. Most people don’t want to be trendsetters.
Most people just want to fit in and belong.
An example of this being that no matter the decade, everyone’s house décor is almost identical to their neighbours.
And bonus learning? Take more pictures of other people. They are enlightening.